Author Affiliation: Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco.
In the United States, the incidences of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are in the tens of thousands, and the incidence of ischemic injury is even higher (ie, in the hundreds of thousands). Frequently, patients are left with significant disability, drastically reducing their quality of life because they are dependent on caregivers and are unable to work. Fueled by dramatic advances in the field of stem cell research, efforts to discover avenues for tissue protection and repair following a traumatic event have exponentially increased over the past 2 decades. Needless to say, much progress has been made, and laboratories around the world continue to drive the field forward. Although we are not at the point where, for example, we can initiate regenerative efforts to restore the function of the spinal cord after a spinal cord injury, the advances in the field are highly interesting and encouraging and most certainly warrant a critical overview.
von Büdingen H. Progenitor Cell Therapy for Neurological Injury. Arch Neurol. 2011;68(11):1481-1482. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.1153